Encyclopedia Astronautica
1968.04.27 - Delays in Apollo CSM and LM delivery dates


ASPO Manager George M. Low explained to the Apollo Program Director the underlying causes of slips in CSM and LM delivery dates since establishment of contract dates during the fall of 1967. The general excuse, Low said, was that slips were the result of NASA-directed hardware changes. "This excuse is not valid." He recounted how NASA-imposed changes had been under strict control and only essential changes had been approved by the MSC Level II Configuration Control Board (CCB).

For early spacecraft (CSM 101 and 103 and LM-3), the CCB had agreed some six months earlier that only flight safety changes woul be approved. To achieve firm understandings with the two prime spacecraft contractors regarding the responsibilities for schedule slips, Low had asked MSC procurement expert Dave W. Lang to negotiate new contract delivery dates based on changes since the last round of negotiations. These negotiations with North American Rockwell were now completed. (Talks at Grumman had not yet started.) Despite a leniency in the negotiations on early spacecraft, Low said, results clearly indicated that most schedule delays were attributable to North American and not to NASA. On 2TV-1, for example, delivered two months late, analysis proved that less than three weeks of this delay derived from customer-dictated changes. The situation for CSM 101, though not yet delivered, was comparable. Moreover, a similar situation existed within the LM program: LM-3 would be delivered some five weeks behind the contract date, with only two of those weeks caused by NASA changes. Despite this attempt to set the record straight regarding schedule slippages, Low stressed that he did not wish to be over critical of the contractors' performance. Because schedules over the past year had been based on three-shift, seven-day-per-week operation, little or no time existed for troubleshooting and "make work', changes that inevitably cropped up during checkout activities.

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